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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Be My Guest

Monia Baldini

Genre: Clown, Comedy, Theatre

Venue: Assembly George Square


Low Down

Each human being is a galaxy. Have you ever wondered how many guests live inside you? Come as you are and join Monia’s six guests on a cathartic and adventurous journey toward self-acceptance. Be My Guest is an interactive and meta-theatrical solo show that explores ways to embrace human fragility through the magical worlds of clown, bouffon, tragedy, improvisation, cabaret and physical comedy. Themes are hot and urgent: poverty, failure, isolation, dreams, motherhood and taboos. Won’t you come out to play with The Hostess, The Artist, Venus, Shelion, The Tragic Actress, and Me?


We are in a black box theatre and then she tentatively enters, speaks to us softly, interacting a little and very sweetly says she want to talk to us. Monia Baldini soon gets into her stride in this solo original show where she is part clown, part comedy character. Her character is a one-person cabaret with a zest for life and a search for self-acceptance. Running hot and cold (in a good way!) Baldini is shy, flirty, always with attitude – and surprises galore in what she says or does! She is never predictable and this is part of her charm.

Speaking directly to the audience, and in song she is both tragic and happy. Baldini makes a few demands that we are ready to comply with, yet her motivation for what she says is always justified in her own way. She teases, chastises and giggles and proclaims that “love is the most important thing!” In her excitement, she makes fascinating fast rhythmic sounds as she runs across the stage and this is infectious.

Baldini also improvises moments and physicalises others in this entertaining show. Fast changing coloured lights add atmosphere as she changes characters and mood instantly! All of these elements are interesting and draw us in to want to discover her next thought and idea. Telling stories about her life she creates voices and sounds, in fact she sometimes purrs. All this is done with utmost sincerity and playfulness.

Baldini is a compelling performer with an interesting take on life and how she presents her stories and characters. Sometimes she has the essence of a Beckett text – where she is always waiting for something in her stories and this is her performance style – and what sets her apart. Her delivery is always well timed and varied with fast moments and then a longer story or interaction, which works very well and adds depth to the character and crafting of the piece.

Always intriguing, Baldini never pushes us away with her ready humour and she reads the room effectively. Interacting with the audience can be challenging to a performer and Baldini finds the right tone and way of inviting interactions. Baldini is a refreshingly creative and resourceful performer with entertaining stories and characters, all infused with her rapid fire wit.